NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: 3 Best Plays for Monday’s Slate, Including Brook Lopez and Kevin Love (April 19)
Alex Menendez/Getty Images. Pictured: Brook Lopez
- It's the night of big men for Brandon Anderson on the player props market on Monday.
- Anderson breaks down his three best plays to open the week, featuring two former All-Star centers.
Role players can be frustrating to play props on sometimes. The lines are lower but so are the minutes, and it can drive you crazy grabbing a role player over and then watching them toil on the bench for almost an entire quarter at a time.
Still, those lower lines make overs easier to hit if the minutes do come, and tonight we’ll count on three guys to parlay increased playing time and opportunity into three overs.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Kevin Love, over 13.5 points (-113)
|Cavs at Pistons||-3|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Hey, remember this guy?
After four straight runs to the Finals next to LeBron James, Kevin Love is playing out the back end of his career in relative anonymity, slowly soaking up that four-year $120-million contract for a completely irrelevant team.
Love hasn’t cleared 60 games played in the regular season since the championship run in 2015-16. He played only 22 games in 2018-19, stayed relatively healthy in last year’s shortened season, but then played only one game and a few minutes in December before sitting out most of the year until April.
Love is back now. He’s played nine times in April, and the production has returned with the minutes. Love has scored at least nine points in all but one game since his return. That’s not much of a bar to clear, but Love has played 23 minutes or fewer in all but four games this season.
He’s averaging 16.3 PPG in the four games he’s gone over that minutes load, and that’s the angle tonight. Three of those four minutes overs have come in Love’s past four games, and with Larry Nance Jr. out, Love should get around 28 to 30 minutes again.
If you just look at the per game numbers and see 11.2 points and 6.3 rebounds, you’d think Love is a shell of his former self. But those numbers have come in only 21.6 MPG, thanks in part to three of his 13 games seeing just two, nine, and 10 minutes played. The per-36 numbers are still very much in line with most of Love’s time in Cleveland, a slight tick down but still a healthy 18.7 points and 10.5 minutes.
We won’t get 36 minutes tonight but probably don’t need to. Even playing through injury at times, Love is still scoring a point every 1.9 minutes, and this is a very doable matchup tonight against the Pistons. Love has gone over 13.5 points in all four of his games with 25 or more minutes.
Let’s bet on him getting those minutes tonight and going over again. I’ll play to -130.
Brook Lopez, over 1.5 threes (+132)
|Suns at Bucks||-2.5|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Hello again, old friend.
We had a lot of fun playing Brook Lopez assist props early in this season before the books finally caught on and adjusted the number accordingly. Well, there may be a new trend in town, and it’s BroLo’s 3-pointers.
Lopez has been a very streaky shooter in recent seasons since adding a late-career 3 to his arsenal. In 2018-19, he suddenly hit 37% of his shots behind the arc and made 2.3 per game, a career year out of nowhere that got him a lot of well deserved accolades. But last season, Lopez’s shot went totally missing. He hit only 31% of his treys and made just 1.5 per game for the season.
That cold shooting carried over into much of this season, but Lopez is getting hot lately. Over his last eight games, BroLo has hit 21 3s. He’s making 44% of his attempts during that span and averaging 15.4 PPG as his confidence soars, and his 3-point attempts are up too, to 4.9 per game. Compare those numbers to the 20 games prior, where Lopez made just 1.0 3 per game on 3.7 attempts and hit an ugly 29%, and you see just how hot and cold he can be.
Bet on the hot streak to continue, especially while the attempts stay up. With around five attempts per game, almost any shooter in the NBA will have a decent shot at finding two makes, and sure enough, Lopez has multiple 3s in six of his last eight games, hitting this over 75% of the time.
Tonight’s matchup between the Bucks and Suns should be cagey and fun, and Lopez will have his hands full with Deandre Ayton breaking out lately. All the more reason to let BroLo bomb away and stretch the defense out. I’m shocked at the plus number here, as hot as Lopez has been playing. I’d give him a better than 50/50 shot at going over 1.5.
I’ll play the over at any plus number.
Deni Avdija, over 5.5 rebounds (+110)
|Thunder at Wizards||-12|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Israeli rookie Deni Avdija is struggling to find consistency.
Avdija started his first 16 games of the season but saw his playing time bounce around and didn’t make much of an impact on the box score. Avdija averaged 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and played only 22.4 minutes per outing. From there, the Wizards shook things up by moving Deni to the bench. The minutes barely moved, at 21.2 MPG, but the rebounding ticked up to 4.7 RPG while the scoring dropped a bit to 5.4 PPG.
On March 27, Avdija moved back into the starting lineup, and he’s been there ever since. And those first nine games back in the starting lineup were his best stretch of the season. Avdija saw his minutes rise to 31.7 MPG, and his production rose to 8.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He still isn’t hitting shots or scoring much, but he had at least one assist in all but one of the nine games and saw a real rise in his rebounding, showing the strength he’s already added this year as a rookie.
The four games since that stretch have been a downturn again, but the truth is that this is not just a bet on Avdija. It’s also a bet on Rui Hachimura. Hachimura has had a nice sophomore season, but he’s out tonight, and the last two games Rui missed a couple weeks ago saw Avdija play 39 minutes each, his two highest totals ever, and average 10.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
It’s clear that Avdija’s rebounding has increased this season, so we are really playing a minutes over here as much as a rebounding one. Avdija has at least five rebounds in 18 of his 23 games with 25 or more minutes. We project him at almost 30 minutes, and with Hachimura out, he could go way over both that and this rebounding prop.
The playing time is a risk, but you have to love the plus money here. I’ll play at any plus number or as low as -115.
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